MIT Contest Seeks Climate-Change Answers

What international climate agreements should the world community make? That’s the question, and MIT’s Climate CoLab, taking its cue from Wikipedia and Linux, thinks the answer might be lurking out there in the “collective intelligence of thousands of people.” Deadline for entry into the contest — the first of what the online community promises will be many open to the public  — is October 31.

There’s no pile of money awaiting the proposals judged to be the best. However, the winning entries will be featured on the Climate CoLab website and in an MIT press release, and the university will pay for one representative from each winning team to come out for a visit with climate-change policymakers from Congress or the United Nations.

image via Eco Group

In a statement, MIT Sloan School of Manager Professor Thomas Malone emphasized that they’re looking for a diverse field of entries. “Anyone from artists and students to retired professionals and people professionally involved in the problem might be interested in forming teams to enter this contest. It’s a great opportunity to articulate their views to a broader audience,” he said.

Climate CoLab said entries will be judged by “some of the world’s leading climate researchers.” An unspecified number of proposals will advance to a final round. Prizes will be given both to the proposals that receive the most votes from members of the Climate CoLab community, as well as those selected by the judges.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.